What lawyers and law firms need to know about the LinkedIn Algorithm in 2023

Lucy King, Marketing Executive at The BD Ladder, shares some ideas how to sharpen up your content and what you need to know about LinkedIn’s algorithm.


As a lawyer, you’ll need to understand the importance of personal branding to boost your professional profile. It’s basically a personal marketing strategy, and LinkedIn is the best place to start building it, as it’s a powerful platform for professional services.

The psychology behind it is simple, your clients and prospects want to buy from someone they trust. So, when you build connections and authority as an expert in your legal field, clients are more likely to engage with you because they feel a sense of familiarity. And all the same applies for your firm’s brand and company LinkedIn page.

By now, we’d hope you have your profile up to date, and that you have started to post regularly… If this does sound like you, the next questions you may be asking are: why aren’t my posts as successful as I want them to be? How do I get seen by more people (and the right people)? And how do I increase my engagement rates?

Much like other social media platforms, LinkedIn can seem capricious in its benefits, varying from a successful lead generator – to a dull chore with little visible pay off.

However, knowing how the LinkedIn algorithm works in 2023 can help ensure your social media strategy and personal branding efforts are working, supporting you to retain current clients and attract new ones.

Unpacking the LinkedIn algorithm – What do lawyers and law firms need to know?

To put it simply, the LinkedIn algorithm only wants to promote relevant and high-quality content, and is designed to bury lower quality, spammy posts.

This means, each time you make a post from your personal or company page, LinkedIn will check a few things about your content to determine whether it’s worth showing your audience.

LinkedIn will determine posts as spam if they are poorly written (full of bad grammar or spelling mistakes), contain lots of outbound links, if they contain hashtags such as #like #comment #follow, or if it appears to be written by a bot.

Low quality content is not quite spam, but they are posts that LinkedIn has determined won’t be useful to your audience, or lack relevance to their interests.

What does the LinkedIn algorithm want to see from lawyers and law firms?

1) Your post follows best practices.

Typically, the best performing LinkedIn posts follow the below formula…

Easy to read: it’s essential to construct your posts in a way that is easy to read. This means, avoiding large paragraphs of text by keeping each point precise, and simple to digest. To achieve this, try giving each point it’s own line, use bullet points, or break your message down into a numbered/lettered structure to create natural flow from one idea to the next.

For example, if you were to turn the above paragraph into a LinkedIn post, it would look something like this.

“Make your posts east to read.

Avoid large paragraphs by keeping each point precise, and simple to digest.

Break your message down…

Creating natural flow from one idea to the next.”

Use around 3 hashtags: Advice is variable around this point. Some sources suggest limiting yourself to only three hashtags, and others mentioned using up to 5 or 10. From our experience, using 3-4 hashtags works best if you begin with something that is general and highly searched, followed by terms that gradually become more niche.

For example, #LegalIndustry (which is generally relevant to lawyers wanting to discuss trends, news, or innovations within the broader legal industry), #CorporateLaw (a more specific hashtag that can be used by lawyers specialising in corporate law to connect with others in their field and share their expertise), and #MergersAndAcquisitions (a highly specific hashtag that would be relevant to lawyers who focus on M&A deals and want to connect with others in that niche).

Avoid outbound links: LinkedIn wants to keep readers on their platform as much as possible, and by using an outbound link, you’ll be directing users elsewhere. This is why it will penalise outbound links in the text of your post. However, you can try adding these links in the comments section, or adding the link before you write the text of your post (and removing it once the preview has been generated)… This currently doesn’t impact the performance of posts (provided they follow the other best practices).

Leverage key words: Including relevant key words in your post is a sign of knowing your niche/area of specialty. For example, if you are posting about legal recruitment, use key terms in a logical and natural way. You could include: ‘legal recruitment’, ‘job opportunities’, ‘legal industry’ and ‘talent acquisition.’ These key words will tell the algorithm that your post is relevant to lawyers looking for roles, can help to ensure your post is visible to the right audience, and that it accurately conveys your message.

2) Your post generates early engagement.

Drafting an outstanding post only gets you halfway there… LinkedIn must then check whether it’s of any interest to your audience.

The algorithm will push your new post to a few users in your network. If they engage positively by responding with likes, shares, and comments, LinkedIn will push the post to more people – which makes sense right?

If your post does well in it’s initial stages, it’s much more likely to do well all day, all week, or even all month. However, if nobody sees or reacts to your post (or worse, it gets marked as spam), that’ll be the end of it! So, here’s a few ways to help drive early engagement:

Post when your followers are online: Think about when your network reads LinkedIn, and post at that time – after all, you’re aiming for visibility. For example, you may realise that your audience is usually online between 6am – 7am, so it will be best to put your post up early in the morning.

Pose a question: Asking a question and including clear calls to action (CTAs) sparks a response from your followers, and generates engagement. For example, if you’ve made a post educating your audience on a change to legislation, you could close with: “what are your thoughts on this update? Let me know in the comments.”

Follow a consistent posting schedule: Decide how often you will post, and post at the same time. That way, your followers will know when to check for your new content. For example, you could post 4 times a week at 6.30am.

Respond to anyone who engages, and start engaging yourself: it’s important not to just post and forget… Think of each post as a ‘micro-community.’ When someone leaves a comment or asks a question, you should respond promptly. Also, whilst your post is in it’s first hour, it’s important to interact with other people’s posts (so, don’t treat your likes like gold)!

Only tag people who will respond: Unless you know that these people will respond quickly, i.e., within the first hour of making the post, it’s best not to tag them. LinkedIn will end up penalising your post if the people/organisation’s you’ve tagged don’t like or comment!

3) Your post is relevant to your audience, and their networks

Once your post receives that all important early engagement, LinkedIn will start checking whether it should place it in more people’s newsfeeds. The algorithm extends your reach based on three ranking signals:

Personal connections: LinkedIn will start by showing your posts to those closest in your network. They tend to be people who work in your organisation, or those you have worked with previously. It will also include users you have interacted with before (through commenting etc.).

Interest relevance: Your content will surface based on your audience’s interests, which LinkedIn evaluates by looking at the groups they are in, and the people, pages and hashtags they follow. If your post mentions topics or organisations that align – the more exposure you should get via the algorithm.

Probability of engagement: This is measured in two ways… Firstly – how likely is it that a user will engage with your post? This is based on their previous behaviour, and what they have engaged with on your past posts. Secondly – how much engagement is the post receiving in general? If it has sparked lots of conversation and received a decent number of reactions, it’s likely more people will want to chime in too!

Don’t forget, it’s important to engage with other people’s posts daily! The more present you are, and the more you interact with others – the more they will interact back!

Key take aways for lawyers and law firms

Your feed prioritises relevant posts from your network: At the top of your feed, you should see posts from people you engage with often, and those you are following or connected with. All of these people/organisations will post consistently (at least one post per week, but likely more than three times per week).

Long-form/text-based posts tend to work best. For a while, LinkedIn gave preference to video content… But it will no longer choose these over text-only or photo-only based posts. In fact, text tends to get better results than anything on LinkedIn, as people enjoy reading them in silence. But if you do post a video, ensure it is native (uploaded directly to LinkedIn), no longer than 3 minutes and include subtitles.

Dwell time: This is the amount of time someone spends looking at the content of your post.. and LinkedIn sees this as important. A quick glance tells the algorithm your post isn’t very relevant… whereas, several minutes spent watching a video or reading a document will help boost it to the top.

Comments matter most: LinkedIn’s algorithm wants to generate conversation. Therefore, comments have become more important than reactions, and reactions are more important than shares. This is because shared content won’t show up twice for others, making it semi redundant.

Use around three hashtags: Earlier on, LinkedIn’s algorithm gave preference to posts with exactly three hashtags. Now, the magic number seems to be more than three but less than 10. Best practice would be to include both highly searched terms, as well as more specific ones.

Conclusion: By understanding the algorithm, lawyers and law firms can get the most out of their LinkedIn efforts

As you will have gathered, LinkedIn’s algorithm takes into account a range of factors to determine who sees what posts, ensuring each users newsfeed is as interesting as possible for them.

LinkedIn’s overall goal is to prioritse relevant content and promote engagement. Therefore, knowing how the algorithm works can help you get more out of your social media strategy and personal branding efforts.

We hope this article has given you some ideas to sharpen up your content, and create carefully considered posts… But, if you’d like some further support, check out our LinkedIn Profile Writing and Content Writing packages.

About the Author:

With experience in the legal and for-purpose sectors, Lucy brings a fresh perspective to The BD Ladder team. As their Marketing Executive, Lucy enjoys finding creative ways to enhance online branding, and is focused on working with clients to bring their marketing plans to life. Her strength lies in her analytical approach – involving an iterative process of monitoring and refining – which ensures goals are accomplished, and the ever-evolving needs of her clients are met. Connect with Lucy via LinkedIn